Close this search box.

Delphinium Meaning and History

The Delphinium flower is native to the Northern Hemisphere. The Delphinium meaning is an uplifting one, focusing on cheer and joy. This sentiment makes the Delphinium an excellent cut flower to give a friend or loved one for multiple occasions. 

Delphinium Meaning and History

History of the Delphinium

The name Delphinium comes from the Greek word “Delphis”, which means dolphin. The Greek thought the unopened buds of the flower resembled the nose of the aquatic mammal. 

In England, the flower is called the Larkspur. The name was given to the flower by the royal Tudor family who believed the nectary part of the flower resembled the claw of a bird called the Lark. 

The Delphinium underwent vast hybridization most especially from the middle 19th century onward. Breeding continued in England and America well into the 20th century. New species were created to create larger blooms, adapt to the North American climate, and to create new colors. Today there are over 300 species of Delphinium across the globe. 

In the past, Delphiniums were used by both Native Americans and Europeans as a dye for clothing and other textiles. The flower was also used, for a period of time, to aid in relaxation and to promote sleep, but that was discontinued when it was discovered the flower was toxic. 

Greek  Myths

As with many flowers, there are Greek myths associated with the Delphinium. The first myth describes the origin of the flower. It was said the flower sprung from the blood of the Greek god Ajax, who was killed during the Trojan war. Flowers that blossomed from his blood and their petals apparently were inscribed with the letters “Ai”, which means “alas” in Greek.

The other myth explains a Delphinium meaning. The myth states that Apollo, the Greek sun god, favored having Delphiniums adorn his temple, which then associated the flower with bringing good luck. 

Modern Delphinium Uses

In today’s world, the Delphinium is the official birth flower of those born in July. As a result of all the past hybrid breeding, Delphiniums have been categorized into three main groups. These groups are the Delphinium elatum group, the Delphinium grandiflorum group, and the Delphinium belladonna group. The Pacific Giants and New Zealand hybrid groups are also noteworthy. 

Delphinium Symbolism

The primary Delphinium symbolism is of cheerfulness and goodwill. The flower represents encouragement, joy, and good fortune as well. Often the flower will be given as a symbol of remembering a loved one who has passed. 

The Delphinium flower meaning is often said to relay the message of being open to new experiences and to encourage the recipient to broaden their horizons and try new adventures. Give these flowers to someone who needs cheering up, especially if they are going through a difficult time or seem to be stuck in a rut and are looking for a change. 

Delphinium Flower Meanings By Color

Delphinium Flower Meanings By Color

Along with the primary meanings of good luck, encouragement and cheer, the color of the Delphiniums you give will have a secondary meaning as well.

Dark Blue Delphinium: This is the most common color of Delphinium and it symbolizes dignity and grace. This is an excellent flower to give to someone who has navigated a difficult situation while keeping their composure, such as a divorce or difficult career situation.

White Delphinium: The white Delphinium means innocence and purity–a perfect flower for weddings or baby showers.

Pink Delphinium: Give pink Delphiniums to show your love and passion for a romantic interest or partner. 

Purple Delphinium: The color purple symbolizes royalty and beauty, perfect for recognizing a position of status or an elegant affair.

Light Blue Delphinium: The light blue Delphinium conveys youth and success making it a perfect flower to celebrate graduations or new careers.

The Delphinium flower is a showy collection of blooms that make a statement alone or in an arrangement. The Delphinium meaning makes this flower an excellent choice for both friends and family. Choose the correct color to further deepen the sentiment of your flower giving intentions.

Delphinium Meanings FAQ

Is Delphinium Considered Toxic to Pets?

Yes, Delphinium is toxic to pets and should be kept away from them.

How Long Do Delphiniums Live?

On average, Delphiniums last between two and three years. Many species of the flower will bloom throughout the entire summer.

What Climate Do Delphiniums Prefer?

Delphiniums prefer cooler, moist climates. When cut and in a flower arrangement, keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and away from heat vents.

What Are the Benefits of Delphiniums in the Garden?

Delphiniums attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. 

What Hardiness Zones Do Delphiniums Prefer?

Delphiniums prefer USDA zones 3 to 7.